Red States Are Red

Although I live in an area that’s less conservative than the rest of Alabama, it’s still pretty conservative. As such, there’s no shortage of people talking about how awesome conservative values are. Like, how foreigners are ruining this country (except when you need cheap labor). Or, how traditions need to be maintained (except when it gets in the way of stealing an election). My favorite is how big government is this unholy thing to be avoided at all costs.

Except when contracts to big companies is involved to make missiles and dysfunctional spacecraft.

Except when hospitals line up to accept Medicare patients and overcharge for services.

Except when universities can lure students into a semester’s worth of debt.

Basically, government is bad when it puts cash in someone else’s pocket. I’ve lived with this hypocrisy for a few decades. Many of the largest industries where I have lived in this state involve government spending in one form or another. Alabama is a state that hates the hands that feed it.

And there’s nothing I can do about it. To speak out against established institutions is a cardinal sin here in the South. It doesn’t matter if it makes no sense. People are supposed to hate big government, and they’re supposed to love their government.

The net result is something I see straight out of The Communist Manifesto. Places that aren’t beholden to government spending are almost owned by corporate lords. People are set against each other because they’re competing for what little income is available. This situation is made worse by skyrocketing unemployment and the need to stay safe from a spreading disease.

In some ways, I feel like a Communist revolution has already overtaken where I live. I’m not allowed to call it what it is. Everyone gets to function under their faceless masters, and in return for what little they give anyone, people are allowed to pretend like they have a say in their own lives.

Right now, there’s no alternative to this state of affairs. And nobody can even talk about an alternative.